FrEDWriter Version 4.4 August 13, 1987 by CUE SoftSwap.
Created in 1985, this word processor was a de facto standard for years in classrooms. Mr. Rogers designed the program around a not-so-popular public domain program called FreeWriter and re-marketed with an extremely easy-to-use interface, Spanish support, and the ability for teachers to leave on-screen prompts to guide student writing. Additionally, FrEdWriter was free: users had to pay a small charge for the software on a disk, but the splash-screen tells users to feel free to make as many copies as they want and to distribute FrEdWriter freely. ( FrEDWriter
(Some history from the creators.)
The predominant question was “How do I successfully integrate computers with curricula?” Al Rogers and Yvonne Andres had an answer.
At that time Al Rogers worked for the San Diego County Office of Education as a Computer Coordinator. Rogers, a 20-year veteran teacher, was interested in how educational software was being developed. He was especially fascinated with developing effective teaching methods for writing. Yvonne Andres was a middle school teacher and Title I coordinator in the Oceanside School District and was seeking innovative ways to improve student literacy skills and to help her students develop an awareness of the world beyond their local neighborhood. It was obvious to both Rogers and Andres that the computer could play a powerful role in improving student literacy.
Because commercial word processors were awkward to use and did not address any issues regarding a good writing program, Rogers developed Free Educational Writer (FrEdWriter). This application would become the first in a suite of tools that Rogers would create to support effective writing instruction. FrEdWriter introduced the concept of Prompted Writing and enabled teachers to focus on the development of effective writing instruction. Because FrEdWriter was free, schools were able to design a writing program without worrying about software budget limitations. ( FrED History
A newspaper clipping about Al & FrEDWriter:
Al Rogers & FrEDWriter
Additional manuals and tips:
Fredwriter Documentation by June Wedesweiler Dodge (November 30, 1985)